Ruth Wharton-Casto
Ruth Wharton-Casto

Obituary of Ruth C. Wharton-Casto

Our most treasured Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, Aunt and friend, Ruth Wharton Casto, went home to Heaven in the arms of Jesus Christ, her Savior and Lord, on July 30, 2020 surrounded by her family and dear friend who loved her beyond words. Believing unfailingly in Jesus Christ and the power of prayer, Ruth was an amazing woman - truly one of The Greatest Generation - full of love and compassion for all living things, blessed with a great sense of humor, a hefty dose of ornery, eternal positivity and optimism, never met a stranger, the greenest of green thumbs, and one of the best cooks on the planet (we’re talking apple dumplings and peach cobbler). Born February 14, 1928, our sweet Valentine lived her vibrant life simply and intentionally, surviving a near-drowning accident as a young girl, a tornado, the Great Depression, and World War II. Ruth earned a full scholarship in chemistry to Ashland College, but the burning/blistering of her fingers the first week of her freshman year revealed an allergy to all of the basic elements. She lost her scholarship, had to change her major, and as a result of the scarring on her fingers, never had fingerprints again! Then while working as a telephone switchboard operator (one of three part-time jobs) to pay for her college education, an electrical accident caused permanent deafness in Ruth’s left ear - but don’t think for a moment that even slowed her down - she was just warming up. While raising her four children and their horses, cats, dogs, and hamsters, being active in her church choir and volunteering on fellowship committee/kitchen manager, singing and performing with a local musical group, The Harmonians, and rescuing any stray cat or dog that found its way to her backyard, Ruth relished her 33-year career at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron as Executive Medical Secretary for Developmental Pediatrics, retiring at age 76 - only to return immediately as a volunteer, logging some 1000 hours. Two hip replacements slowed her but a moment! In 1995, Ruth married “the love of my life,” Dr. Charles E. Casto, and these two peas-in-a-pod “gadget gurus” and “pack rats” enjoyed their homes in Stow and Lake Mohawk, pontoon boating, fishing trips, following Charlie’s Akron U Zips to every game, playing euchre and poker machines with their kids and grandkids, paddle-wheel riverboat cruises, playing endless tricks on each other (think Easter basket hidden in the clothes dryer!!) and medical mission trips to remote villages in Honduras, before Charlie suffered a stroke and left us far too soon. Predeceased by her parents, Sam and Beulah (Haury) Cubbage, sister June (Gail Kopp), sister Pat (Arthur Luikart), nephew Terry Kopp, niece Gayle (Bob Denning), and her first husband Earl (Betty), Ruth is survived by three of her four children: Rani/Ruth Anne (Tom Cargo), Steve (Priya) Wharton, Joey Wharton (predeceased), and Carol (Bill Harvey). While her children were the apples of her eye, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren put the sparkle in those eyes: Laura Wharton Lellman (Joe and great-grandson Nolan), Vanessa Rango (Ron Lemermeier), Dr. Monica Wharton Harden (Dr. Jacob Harden and great-grandson Oliver), and Joshua (Sheena) Harvey. In the last three years of her life, a neighbor named Becky and her dog named Zeke brought a wonderful blessing into Ruth’s life. Brian Llewellyn became not only one of Ruth’s dearest friends, but also her kind and loving caregiver. Her family is forever grateful to Brian, who made it possible for Ruth to remain in her home until the very moment that Jesus cradled her in His arms and took her to Heaven. For their frequent expressions of kindness and love, Ruth’s family wishes to thank her many beloved nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, cousins, step-son John (Monica) Casto, Trinity Church family, dearest neighbors Medicine Woman/Phil, Sheilla/Scott, Ray/Jana, Tom/Trish, and Dr. Troy Bishop who ever so gently made house calls for Ruth. Cremation has taken place. A memorial celebration will be held at a future date to be announced. Any gifts or remembrances for Ruth can be made to Trinity United Church of Christ, 915 North Main Street, Akron, OH 44310 or One of a Kind Pets, 1929 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44313. Grief never ends . . . but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. It is the price of love . . . and worth the cost. (Author unknown)
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